MARSHALL — Fans of Dark Horse Brewing Co.’s beers are used to seeing the crew working at their expanding brewery. Soon, they’ll also be seeing them on TV screens.
“Dark Horse Nation” will premier on cable channel History at 10 p.m. Tuesday. The series will follow the staff of Dark Horse, as History puts it on history.com, “living out their version of the American Dream.”
Two of the show’s stars are owner Aaron Morse and Head of Maintenance Cabe Churchill. Thursday, Morse and Churchill talked to the Enquirer about why they decided to put their work and lives on TV.
How did this even come about? How long has it been in the works?
Aaron Morse: “It actually is roughly two-and-a-half years or so in the making. I got a call out of the blue from a woman by the name of Elizabeth Wolff. She brought up the idea that they were looking to do a show with a small, family-owned business. We got talking and it kind of started the ball rolling at that point. One thing led to another and here we are.”
Why do you think the producers were attracted to Dark Horse to begin with?
Cabe Churchill: “After talking to Elizabeth, one, and two, Matthew Galkin of (production company) Warrior Poets, they saw something genuine in us that we did our jobs and worked hard, yet we still had a good sense of humor. We got along. Ultimately, no matter what, we still had a job to do and they admired our ability to have a good time at work, still respect work, see how hard Aaron worked to get where he is and we all kind of followed along.
“They saw a dynamic there that I think they didn’t really see other places, or in their experience. They just thought it was really unique.”
AM: “We also do so much stuff here. I mean, we’re not just a brewery and I think that was another thing that attracted them.”
I’ve heard people in Marshall talking about the show; what are you hearing from people?
AM: “The majority of people are definitely excited. I personally have had people that stopped in just because they saw us on TV.
“Of course, everybody talks to you a little bit about the show. Everybody assumes the show is all about beer, which the show is not all about beer. There are things in there, different stuff that we do, which I think people are going to enjoy because shows that are all just about beer are boring.”
What are you hoping the show does for Dark Horse?
AM: “Obviously, we’re looking for a business boost. We want to get the word out. We’ve always been a brewery that kind of hid just underneath the radar, which I kind of like it that way. I’m a very soft spoken kind of, hide-behind-the-scenery-guy, even though I run the place and whatnot.
“But obviously we want to grow. We had plans in place of starting a new brewery that we’re starting construction on this spring that was in place even before the show, but hopefully this helps that move along easier.
“Obviously, me as a person, for the guys involved in it, I would love it for them to get something out of it that made their lives better and easier. We all know that money makes life easier. It doesn’t make life better or funner, but it definitely makes it easier sometimes. But it’s definitely not about the money. We don’t do anything here about money. It never has been about money. We started this place with pretty much zero money.
“We hope it goes as far as we can take it as long as we can stay true to ourselves and true to our followers. I hope it goes for many seasons, hopefully.”
Were you hesitant about it at all? There are a lot of reality TV shows out there.
AM: “The first time Elizabeth called me, the call wasn’t very long. It was a pretty short call because the first time she said ‘reality show’ to me, I was like, ‘no.’
“Then she called back. And all the way through, I met with all the guys who are gonna be involved and see what they thought. The biggest thing that we wanted to do was stay true to ourselves and do what we believed in and what we were doing from the get-go. We believe in hard work; we believe in work-hard-play-hard, be truthful to yourself, truthful to others.”
CC: “Truthful to the business aspect. We’re here working hard like he said, and it’s not like, ‘OK, we got a reality show, we’ve got to back off.’ That’s not the gig.
“We all knew early on. Aaron came to us and said, ‘this is what’s going on, what do you guys think?’ But we all approached this whole thing with, ‘we still have a job to do.’ ”
You guys are have a red carpet event for the premiere. What’s going to happen at that?
AM: “Mainly, it’s just something that we can have some fun with. The red carpet’s going to be for the patrons. We’re not going to be on the red carpet at all, as in the characters. We’re asking people to dress up if they want to, make it fun, walk down the red carpet. There’s going to be a backdrop that you get your picture taken in front of. Then you’ll either get it texted or e-mailed to you.
“Mainly just a thing for the patrons and our customers to come down, hang out with us and watch for the first time because we haven’t seen it either. It’s going to be fun for us to see it for the first time with people that have been with us from day one.”
Article courtesy of The Battle Creek Enquirer and Andy Fitzpatrick: http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20140725/NEWS01/307250016/Dark-Horse-crew-talks-TV
Call Andy Fitzpatrick at 966-0697. Follow him on Twitter: @am_fitzpatrick.